Something for the Archives: Rusty's Sanu Hanshee (M-43)

Svashtar

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Dec 28, 2003
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I was pulling this one out of storage today in anticipation of passing it on (to an existing buyer), and realized that I should post some pics of it, not only because it is a bit unique (well, all HI's are unique!), but because it belonged to Rusty.

When Rusty walked west in March of 2005, Mamav (Gin) and Yangdu worked their tails off organizing Rusty's large collection for sale on the Exchange here, for Rusty's wife Mary.

This knife was in Panel 5 of the original sale thread Gin put up, and was described as "Sanu Hanshee, very rare."

The pics are long gone from the sale, but this was the thread: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...e-of-Rusty-Slate-s-collection?highlight=rusty

I always thought of it as an M-43, but from what little I know guess that M-43's are simply a hanshee variant.

What is interesting about this knife are two things:

1) Rusty did a great job reducing the diameter of the handle, and he also indented the bolster on the left side of the handle for his right thumb to rest in. I gather Rusty had small hands, but I have very large hands and the thing still feels great. He followed up the grip reduction to the satisal handle with a Tru-oil finish which has held up well.

2) This knife is rare not only in that it was made by Sanu (Kami mark was a Cross) who was pretty much before my time here, but that at 17.5" it is only 24 oz. The only knives I know of that feel this lively are generally Tora fighters, and I know Simon Hengle who is an authority on those types of khukuris would approve of how this handles. This is a very strong chiruwa tang knife, and could serve as a light chopper, but IMO it's really meant to be a very fast slicer and dicer.

For comparison purposes I took some pics next to a Vim M-43, which is nearly perfectly executed. I picked the Vim because it is also exactly 17.5", but a beefier 31 oz.

Rusty put a good edge on it, which I refined a bit with a slack belt grinder, and it is a razor, one of the sharpest HI's I've seen.

Have two sets of pics so will add them here in separate posts. In this set picture E is really the important one, as it shows the indent on the left side of the bolster:
 

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  • A. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Right.jpg
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  • B. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Handle Right.jpg
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  • C. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Left.jpg
    C. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Left.jpg
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  • D. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Handle Left.jpg
    D. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Handle Left.jpg
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  • E. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Bolster Mod Left.jpg
    E. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Bolster Mod Left.jpg
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Svashtar

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In this set I tried to get a top down image of the left bolster side, but did a lousy fuzzy job (pic "F"). I'll put it up anyway to give you a rough idea.

The others are side by side against that grey horn M-43 by Vim, from 3-4 years ago I guess now, and in its scabbard.

This is a great knife from what I consider to be early HI, and it will be hard to pass it along, but at least we'll have a record of if here! :thumbup:

Best,

Norm
 

Attachments

  • F. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Bolster closeup.jpg
    F. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu Bolster closeup.jpg
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  • G. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu with 17.5-inch 31 oz. M-43 Grey Horn by Vim Right #2.jpg
    G. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu with 17.5-inch 31 oz. M-43 Grey Horn by Vim Right #2.jpg
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  • I. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu with 17.5-inch 31 oz. M-43 Grey Horn by Vim Left.jpg
    I. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu with 17.5-inch 31 oz. M-43 Grey Horn by Vim Left.jpg
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  • K. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu in Scabbard Back.jpg
    K. 17.5-inch 24 oz. M-43 by Sanu in Scabbard Back.jpg
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Thanks for sharing that with us Norm. That TruOil finish looks great on that wood. The comparison shots are good too... I like the waist that the Hanshee has. Great work by Sanu.
 
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What's the spine thickness on the Sanu M-43 and does it taper? 24 oz. seems to be in the range of the vintage M-43's in jdk1's thread in HI Cantina.
 

OldeWolf

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Once that wondrous knife arrives, I will do a deeper review on it with my camera and all. I've been told by my girlfriend and others to keep that Hill Walnut M-43 as a collection "unless there is a zombie attack". In another word, I will do my best to honor it and use it only when absolutely necessary such as the Japanese honors their Katanas and use it only when must. So I wont be using it for chopping wood or such. Perhaps I'll turn that one into my family Heirloom (it's about time my family has heirlooms to pass on with). True hand crafted tools are only as good as we treat it from star to finish, from raw materials to finished product, resting within our hands. I'm starting to get a better idea on how swords and knives takes on a spirit of their own after creation and after being used by our activities. Once we find out the spirit of the blades, we must respect it or else it wont be faithful and might do us wrong at the most inconvenient time (I learned the this one the hard way).

But I wont be afraid to use the M-43 if I must and woe be the plants or zombies that gets in our way. :p
 

shortwinger

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Very nice post Norm. Impressive old school specs indeed!

I hope the new owner takes good care of that treasure.
 

Svashtar

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Dec 28, 2003
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Once that wondrous knife arrives, I will do a deeper review on it with my camera and all. I've been told by my girlfriend and others to keep that Hill Walnut M-43 as a collection "unless there is a zombie attack". In another word, I will do my best to honor it and use it only when absolutely necessary such as the Japanese honors their Katanas and use it only when must. So I wont be using it for chopping wood or such. Perhaps I'll turn that one into my family Heirloom (it's about time my family has heirlooms to pass on with). True hand crafted tools are only as good as we treat it from star to finish, from raw materials to finished product, resting within our hands. I'm starting to get a better idea on how swords and knives takes on a spirit of their own after creation and after being used by our activities. Once we find out the spirit of the blades, we must respect it or else it wont be faithful and might do us wrong at the most inconvenient time (I learned the this one the hard way).

But I wont be afraid to use the M-43 if I must and woe be the plants or zombies that gets in our way. :p

OldeWolf, thanks! and hope I didn't confuse things, but this is a different knife than the M-43 coming your way. Yours is a 17" 26 oz. Hill Walnut model by Kumar, from 2005 or so. This one is a quite a bit older, and 2 oz. lighter, with refinished Satisal handle by Sanu. I swear it feels lighter than 2 oz. though, probably because of the ergonomics of the thin handle.

Yours is here:

http://photobucket.com/M43s

Best,

Norm
 

Svashtar

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What's the spine thickness on the Sanu M-43 and does it taper? 24 oz. seems to be in the range of the vintage M-43's in jdk1's thread in HI Cantina.

Timelord, I don't have the knife in front of me, but going from memory it is only about 1/4" and has very little distal taper until the last 3-4 inches or so towards the tip, so your research makes sense. The M-43's I have left, a 31 oz. and 33 oz. by Vim, are thicker / heavier blades, but to me a perfect weight for a khukuri is between 28 & 32 oz. for a 17-18" knife, if it is a chopper that is.

I forgot to mention that on this Sanu blade the chiruwa tang itself has more reverse distal taper towards the pommel than the modern ones as well. So he was building both for strength and a lighter overall knife. I wish Rusty or Uncle Bill were around to ask, maybe the forum archives will tell us, but I don't think this was built for more than light limbing / chopping; for whatever reason the weight difference between the two knives feels way more than just 7 oz...

Over the last few years M-43's and HI's in general have gotten heavier, although the reverse is true WRT some models like the AK's; I remember Uncle Bill warning people that the 20" AK's they were asking for could be 4+ pounds!, and now they are lighter. I just sold a nice old Shop 1 AK that was 18.5" and 49 oz. with a 3/4" spine, while a later BirGorkha 20" AK by Amtrac is a very manageable 35 oz., or nearly 30 oz. less than what the same knife would have weighed a few years earlier. The old ones will certainly hit harder though. For a user I won't use a CAK over 16.5 or 17" as that is right at the 28-32 range.

Kumar's M-43's ran from 26 to 28 oz. generally, depending on handle, and Vim increased the weight even more. Heavier chiruwa handled knives are also a byproduct of the revised warranty. I think that generally for HI that is a good thing, but in some cases a heavier handle and heavier overall knife can reduce performance.

Norm
 
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Svashtar

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Very nice post Norm. Impressive old school specs indeed!

I hope the new owner takes good care of that treasure.

I know he will Bill; he's a good guy, knows the provenance of the knife, and honors Rusty. I can say it's going overseas, so now it will have been on 3 continents!

I actually have learned a bit better to let go of these in the last few years, both by necessity and by choice, and try to follow the example offered by others.

It would actually be much less distasteful to give it up if I weren't parting with something so special in order to turn around and give the $ to those thieving SOB's at the IRS :mad: (on whom I just blew all my accumulated good Karma for the day! :confused: ;))

If you guys read about a madman running amok at a California IRS office with a big-a$$ HI knife, it probably isn't me... :D

Best,

Norm
 

OldeWolf

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Oh geez, my bad. I really did thought it was the knife I was getting as it seem so similar. You got too many knives. :p
 
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On the first sight i really thought this is the ONLY Indian officer khuk from H.I
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The texture on the satisaal are very well defined. I'm salivating over that featherweight!
 
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